Remembrance tourism today

In the years immediately after the war the families and veterans who visited the tombs of their loved ones found themselves rubbing shoulders with tourists in the battlefields. Over time the people who lived through this conflict died and the pilgrimages stopped.

Although tourism continued it changed. Today it is called remembrance tourism. The battlefields gradually disappeared. They were cleaned up so they could once again be used for agricultural or industrial purposes or to build roads or even cities. Today there are very few traces of the conflict in the landscape. So remembrance tourists tend to visit cemeteries, memorials, museums and experience centers.

The commemorations of key events of the Great War are also important moments to perpetuate the memory. Every July 1st, men and women, British and Commonwealth citizens gather to pay tribute to the sacrifice of the soldiers during the Battle of the Somme.

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  • Ceremony of July 1st, 2009 in Thiepval (Somme), digital photo, © CDT Somme - AC

  • Inauguration ceremony of Fromelles Cemetery (Nord), 19 July 2010, digital photo, © G. Funk

    The cemetery at Fromelles was built following the discovery of mass graves containing the bodies of Australian soldiers who died in the eponymous battle of 19-20 July, 1916. The German soldiers who buried these bodies removed the insignia that allowed to identify these soldiers. Around 2005 DNA tests were conducted on the descendants of these soldiers to help identify these men.

ceremony of July 1st, 2009 in Thiepval (Somme)inauguration ceremony of Fromelles Cemetery